Group Leader

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Dr. Stephan Greiner
Phone:+ 49 331 567-8349

Max Planck Research Magazine

Untrue to Type

When plant pollen fertilizes an ovum, the genetic material in the nucleus and the chloroplasts must harmonize. Stephan Greiner from the MPI-MP would like to find out which factors in the chloroplasts prevent the interbreeding of plant species. To do this, he works with a model plant that's not too particular when it comes to the species boundary: the evening primrose.
By Catarina Pietschmann.
Max Planck Research 4/12

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Teaching University of Potsdam

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Cytoplasmic and Evolutionary Genetics

The research group of Dr. Stephan Greiner "Cytoplasmic and Evolutionary Genetics" focuses on molecular and mechanistic aspects of plant evolution. We concentrate predominately on the role of cytoplasmic genetic elements (plastids and mitochondria) in speciation processes. 

The model organism <em>Oenothera</em> (evening primrose) is used to elucidate why some combinations of nuclear and chloroplast genome are incompatible and what consequences for evolution and species formation are implied.
The model organism Oenothera (evening primrose) is used to elucidate why some combinations of nuclear and chloroplast genome are incompatible and what consequences for evolution and species formation are implied. [less]

The choice of an appropriate model organism – Oenothera (evening primrose) – allows novel approaches to elucidate the mechanisms underlying reproductive isolation mediated by the cytoplasm and its role in speciation.

However, questions in Oenothera are not limited to the impact of organelles. Studies of important aspects of plant evolution, including early diversification of populations and the evolution of sex are feasible. In addition, the model allows us to pursue some applied aspects, like plastid-mediated cytoplasmic male sterility, suppression of homologous recombination in meiosis, and plant breeding for medical uses.

 
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